Yesterday, European Space Agency (ESA) celebrated 8th anniversary of Huygens probe’s landing on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. As the part of the celebration ESA has released a new new animation to show the landing in exquisitely precise detail

The Huygens probe was an atmospheric entry probe carried to Titan as part of the Cassini–Huygens mission. The probe was named after the Dutch 17th century astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Cassini–Huygens spacecraft was launched on October 15, 1997, it separated from the Cassini orbiter on December 25, 2004, and landed on Titan on January 14, 2005 near the Xanadu region.

On Titan: First images from Huygens Probe
On Titan: First images from Huygens Probe

The Huygens probe had been dropped off 21 days prior by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Once it began its descent, it took the probe 2.5 hours to make it to the surface. The Huygens probe was designed to gather data for a few hours in the atmosphere. It continued to send data for about 90 minutes after touchdown.

As you watch the video, remember that Huygens is the only man-made probe landed on alien surface outside the inner solar system.